Monday, December 13, 2010

Announcement & Day 12: 12 Days of Cookies Countdown

Ok, so the announcement is that I am official! I am an OFFICIALLY certified PADI OPEN WATER scuba diver! Yessss! It was wonderful. I had my 4 open water dives this past weekend. Yes, I was scuba certified in December. The air temp this weekend was about 76 F with the water at the surface about 75 F. Awesome!

We dove at a place called Sunabe. It's just outside Camp Foster. Very basic place, great for beginners. But if this is the "basic" dive site, I cannot wait to see the really good places! I heard that there are caves and rocks and cliffs and really awesome reefs and even some islands that you can swim out to. Sa-weet!

Anywho, I am excited to explore and meet some great people scuba diving. Right now I am saving some $$ for the equipment so that I don't have to rent, and I am also waiting for the hub-bub of the holidays to wind down....

....Speaking of the holidays. Did you know there are 12 Days Till Christmas!?! Woah! crazy huh? Well, this year I decided to do a 12 Days of Cookies! I will post a recipe of my favorite holiday cookie every day. Its gunna rock and I am going to be cookied-out big time, but it's totally worth it!

So, here is DAY 1

~Peanut Butter Blossoms~
48 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses*
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt 
Small bowl of granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from the chocolates. In a large bowl beat the shortening and peanut butter until blended. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat well. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat it into the peanut butter mixture until combined. 
Shape the dough into 1 in. balls. Roll in the bowl of granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 in. apart. Bake for 8-10 min. or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. 
Immediately press a kiss into the center of each cookie; the cookie will crack around the edges. Once you have pressed all the kisses in, let them sit for a min. and then come back and gently smoosh the kisses into the cookie once more. This prevents them from falling off while eating. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire wrack. 

*Note: I did not make 48 cookies, I got about 30 or so with this recipe. Hey, you can eat the extras! I also found out that Hershey's Hugs (white chocolate) are really good too! And I suppose that dark chocolate might be good as well....

These cookies are ALWAYS made during the holidays at my family's house. My dad loves them! Great classic that will never get old!


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